I graduated from New York University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and Global Liberal Studies. I also minored in Peace and Conflict Studies. During my time as an undergraduate, I interned at CNN, Annie Leibovitz Studios and National Geographic. I was an editor at my school newspaper, Washington Square News, and held different leadership positions in my program.
Inspired by Anthony Bourdain’s ability to look at history and politics through the lens of food, I wrote my thesis, Food, Culture and Immigration: The Turkish Immigrant Experience as Told by Restaurant Owners In London and New York which attempted to showcase the emergence of Turkish cuisine, its presence in New York and London and the experiences of Turkish immigrants who brought the food to these two global cities.
The key argument of the thesis was that food is mainly a geographical occurrence that gets injected into culture, nationality and politics. With the Deans Global Research Grant, I was able to shoot a short documentary about the Turkish immigrant restaurant owners I interviewed and travel to London. This thesis enabled me to combine all my interests such as storytelling, journalism, documentary filmmaking, politics, food and history. Something I wish to pursue in the future as well.
After graduating ( and the beginning of the pandemic) I deferred my acceptance to this program and worked at Ashoka, an NGO that supports systems change and changemakers. I additionally started a iTurkish bulletin for 20-somethings at the popular online journal Aposto!.
As a master’s degree candidate, I hope to further expand my knowledge in the study of cultural history, food politics, climate and immigration and combine historical storytelling with creative mediums at Columbia University and the London School of Economics.